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2006 CBBF Canadian National Bodybuilding Championships - Mens Masters
In 2006, I turned pro at the Canadian Nationals, and a 15-year dream was fulfilled. In 2008, things were looking very good with my IFBB pro career. I was fully sponsored by PVL, and I was the first official athlete for the Mutant line and other products. I was on top of the world, sitting at 280 pounds. I had the best coach in the world, Hany Rambod, and the support of friends and family, and I was about to start getting ready to compete in the summer of 2008.
Then, in May 2008, it was all taken away in a flash as I was involved in a very bad car accident. I was driving my GTS Viper on the freeway, and I was cut off by a big charter bus and forced into a parked vehicle on the side of the freeway at over 60 MPH. I hit it and ripped off the whole right side of my car. The officer who came to the scene couldn’t believe I was able to walk away, and I was told that if my car had hit five feet further over, it would have been deadly.
I had sustained some serious internal and leg tendon injuries. It was evident that I wouldn’t be able to compete. I couldn’t train, and my size slowly started to disappear. Mentally and physically, things were falling apart. My contract ran out at the end of 2008 and I had lost considerable size and was unable to compete or be used for photo shoots. At that point, I wasn’t sure if I would ever compete again.
It has been a tough battle back over the last four years, with countless hours of rehab and busting my ass through some very painful training days, but this year I will compete at the Toronto Pro Show and plan on bringing my best-ever package! With all my injuries in the past now, I’m feeling 100 percent. This will also be my last show, as I will retire from competitive bodybuilding after this show. I’m very excited to compete, and Toronto will be the perfect setting for my retirement from the sport that I truly have love and passion for. Surrounded by many friends, family, and fellow Canadian pros as I take the stage one last time, it will be a very emotional time for me. It has been an amazing 25 years since I first started training like a bodybuilder as a 150-pound 21-year-old and competed in my first show as a 175-pound middleweight in 1989.
It’s magazines like MUSCLE INSIDER and the people behind it that help make the sport of fitness and bodybuilding grow and become more and more mainstream, so thank you, MUSCLE INSIDER, for all your countless hours and continued support to all the hardworking athletes in the world and Canada. I will continue to be involved in a sport that has given me so much, and I will continue to train my many clients and help others reach their goals as well as continue to run my Reflex Nutrition Store in Langley, BC.
Thank you everyone at MUSCLE INSIDER.
Darren Toma, IFBB Pro